Bao Lau Vietnam… you knew about it?

Hi everyone,
Some friends visiting Vietnam made me discover this website: Bao Lau.
What first interested me (and surprised me) – which I want to share with you – was that it is now possible to make a train reservation online, exactly like we all do with airlines, without having to go to the departing station or without having a third party doing it for you. Even for a return trip.

You simply go online, book your trip, pay by credit card, print the voucher, and go to the train station where they will print your actual ticket. No waiting in line. Et voilà!

The rail network in Vietnam made its grand entrance into the modern era of the 21st century.

They are still lacking dining cars worthy of the name.

The site is very well done and very useful, but only for travel in Vietnam and Cambodia. It's a beginning…

Here you get more information. 's transport network covers Laos as well now. Great site - easy to use and minimal booking fee.

I agree.   With a coupla qualifiers...

Yes, by all means (and I mean that!)  do your own research.   The Internet is certainly a convenient method of booking a journey by rail, bus or flight...    ..but...

While the booking fee might well be minimal, it seems the ACTUAL ticket cost is about half (if) you can manage to buy it at the station.   I was quoted $USD43 online but finding myself in walking distance to Ha Noi station, I took the time to check out the facilities and (surprise!) paid only       VND 351,000 to Hue.   And yes, my ticket was clearly marked 'Foreigner'.

Also found 'Passenger 61's review to be both relevant and accurately updated, possibly the best travelogue blog on the Internet.   (Many awards)

So Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware)  still applies.   Be wise.   Ask questions.

Yep, its a minefield when it comes to online train ticket bookings. Several sites out there trying to con the foreigner. They make it look like the official site. The name of website and appearance of website. … noi-to-hue

But don't be fooled my friends. As George W. Bush once said:

“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

You've been warned, don't misunderestimate the conman's capacity to fool you. If after reading this you are fooled in to buying dodgy online train tickets, then shame on YOU.

have a look at this thread: … etnam.html

good_advice_travel speaks from experience.

By the way, the official (government) railway website is:

English version available. Although I must say never been able to book using credit/debit card. Even Vietnamese issued debit card was a no go. After attempting many times, gave up and bought the tickets the day before by visiting Danang station. Remember to take ID with you as the counter staff ask for this when issuing ticket. (I think they put passport number on ticket)

Agree, with Bazza139, if you are close to a station, going to the station and booking at the counter is the best option. Book it as early as possible, it is high season now.

As of 05/04/17 the official website of Vietnam Railways accepts only Vietnamese issued credit or debit doubts that the site ever accepted "foreign cards".I have tried the site several times this year( 2017) and each time payment.It is as stated very easy to select & book a seat but each time the payment system fails.No specific reason is given.It is not your issuing bank that refuses the transaction.I will cntinue to attempt to carry out and complete a booking.

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